Campus Bans Overnight Guests After 5th Reported Rape
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ Kutztown University students warn of more protests this weekend if the school continues banning overnight dorm visits in response to five campus rapes this semester.
″If this happens again Friday night, it’s going to be a mob scene. Everybody goes out drinking,″ freshman Dan Hardiman told The (Allentown) Morning Call.
About 700 students protested the ban Tuesday night at the state university.
University President David E. McFarland earlier Tuesday attended the weekly meeting of the Resident Hall Association to tell student representatives about a fifth rape reported Monday.
A female student was raped Friday by a man who is not a Kutztown student, according to the school. All five rapes reported this semester were ″date rapes″ and involved late-night drinking in dorm rooms, said university spokesman Richard Morrison.
McFarland urged the dorm association to take steps to prevent students from one dorm staying overnight with students in another.
Karen Sauter, a sophomore RHA representative, said all but five of about 30 student representatives voted for the visitation ban.
″Something definitely needed to be done, but I don’t think they took the right one,″ said Sauter, who voted against the ban.
She supported proposals that would allow only members of the same sex to stay overnight and to stop sign-ins at midnight on weekends.
″It would cut out some of the drunken fools just coming back from parties at 2 a.m.,″ Sauter said.
Some students said school officials were more interested in protecting the university’s reputation.
″A lot of people feel the restrictions are political,″ said freshman Patrice Radke.
The abrupt cancellation of overnight visits was unfair to the school’s 3,000 dorm residents and may not be the answer to the problem of rape, she said.
″Rape can also happen before midnight,″ Radke said.
No rapes were reported at Kutztown last school year, and one was reported the previous year, according to Morrison.
Students and administrators believe the higher number this year reflects greater awareness that acquaintance rape is a crime.
″I think we have very effective programs, so much that they feel they have to report violent incidents,″ Morrison said.